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Taliban takeover embarrassing for Biden; political impact of wildfires

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on the Taliban's rapid territorial gains, the politics of climate change and two court cases gaining political attention in Canada and China.

Is the US drawdown in Afghanistan going as planned?

Well, yes, in the sense that the US is quickly wrapping up military activities on the ground in Afghanistan, the longest standing war in American history will be over in just a few weeks. Not going as planned in the sense that the Taliban is retaking territory much faster than it had been expected. And the US State Department recently told all Americans living in Afghanistan get the hell out because the Americans can't protect them. This is embarrassing for the US, but ultimately, a much bigger problem for the Afghans, and of course for other countries in the region, China, India, Pakistan, Iran. I think it will be an embarrassment for Biden on his administration, but on balance, not going to affect him very much politically. Remember, under both Trump and Biden, even Obama, overwhelming majorities in the United States wanted the Americans to get out of Afghanistan.

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The history of disasters

It's easy to judge the Pompeiians for building a city on the foothills of a volcano, but are we really any smarter today? If you live along the San Andreas fault in San Francisco or Los Angeles, geologists are pretty confident you're going to experience a magnitude 8 (or larger) earthquake in the next 25 years—that's about the same size as the 1906 San Francisco quake that killed an estimated 3,000 people and destroyed nearly 30,000 buildings. Or if you're one of the 9.6 million residents of Jakarta, Indonesia, you might have noticed that parts of the ground are sinking by as much as ten inches a year, with about 40 percent of the city now below sea level.

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Storms help Australia contain Unesco heritage island fire that started two months ago

December 14, 2020 1:03 PM

Fire had destroyed large swathes of Fraser Island's forests before heavy downpours arrived over the weekend

After bush fires, Australia braces for floods

December 13, 2020 1:01 PM

Just a week earlier, world heritage site Fraser Island was evacuated due to bush fires

Sydney sizzles with hottest Nov night

November 30, 2020 5:00 AM

SYDNEY • Sydney recorded its hottest November night as Australia's largest city suffered through a weekend heatwave that saw daytime temperatures peak above 40 deg C.

Wildfires raze dozens of homes on New Zealand's South Island

October 06, 2020 5:00 AM

WELLINGTON • Wildfires have destroyed up to 50 homes in New Zealand, the authorities said yesterday, adding that it was a miracle no one was hurt as "a wall of orange" razed most of a South Island village.

Wildfires raze dozens of homes in New Zealand

October 05, 2020 12:28 PM

WELLINGTON (AFP) - Wildfires have destroyed up to 50 homes in New Zealand, authorities announced Monday (Oct 5), saying it was a miracle no one was hurt as "a wall of orange" razed most of a remote South Island village.

Climate change clearly fuelled Australia's deadly 2019-2020 bush fires: Govt inquiry

August 26, 2020 5:00 AM

SYDNEY • Australia's devastating 2019-2020 bush fires were "clearly" fuelled by climate change, a government inquiry reported yesterday, following some of the largest forest fires recorded worldwide.

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